When It Comes To Kitchen Islands, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

white kitchen with large island that seats sixA kitchen island lets guests gather easily, provides ample space for work (or homework), and can solve many storage puzzles. But how do you decide the size? The shape? The material? And while an island can be many things – can it be too big?

Normandy Designer Laura Barber, AKBD, once worked with a couple who did away with their baseball-diamond-shaped island during their kitchen remodel. “They couldn’t reach the middle of the island, so it turned into wasted space,” Laura says. “A kitchen island should have a function, and not just be large for the sake of being large.”

While bigger may seem better — especially if you want to seat the entire family, have a large cooking preparation area, and store your appliances out of sight — there are several things to consider.

White kitchen with double islands and adjacent dining space“To start, the size of the room is going to dictate the size and shape of the island. Most importantly, we want to make sure that it’s not coming into any walkways,” Laura says. “You don’t want to create a pinch-point for traffic flow.” The spacing, or clearance, between certain elements is also important. For instance, making sure that when you open the oven, you don’t knock into a person sitting in a stool at the island.

The kind of material you choose can also factor into the maximum size of the island. If you would prefer to not have seams, you will want to choose a material that comes in large single slabs, such as granite and quartzite. Engineered stone is also available in jumbo slabs, though the selection is more limited. Marble tends to come in smaller slabs, so may require multiple pieces when using it for a larger island.

white kitchen with peninsula and islandSeams are not the end of the world though, and many existing kitchens have ones that you might not even notice, if the job was done well. “If you choose to seam your island, a high-quality fabricator is very important to ensure that it’s as invisible as possible,” Laura says. But if a few extra inches require an additional slab of material, it might be wise to lose those inches in favor of a simpler design. If your space allows, there is also the option of having two kitchen islands, an extra-long one, or perhaps both a peninsula and an island.

The verdict? Design smarter, not necessarily bigger. If you’d like to meet with one of our Designers to discuss your kitchen remodeling vision, set up a time to talk and they can skillfully guide you through the process. For more home remodeling inspiration and tips, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Decorative glass shelves upper cabinets  Stained alder island in a blue and white kitchen

Drawers in island for storage. Rift cut white oak and black painted kitchen with island and kitchen table

Hinsdale_7th_St_14. Entertainer's kitchen with island


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